Jealous husband took sledgehammer to BMW, court hears

'I don't know what I was thinking at the time'

Kamloops Daily News
January 3, 2013 01:00 AM

Suspecting his wife was having an affair, a Kamloops man took matters - and a sledgehammer - into his own hands.

Robert Stewart, 34, pleaded guilty Thursday in provincial court to mischief, a charge stemming from his actions five weeks ago in Mount Paul Industrial Park.

On Nov. 26, 2012, employees of Progressive Rubber Industries on Chilcotin Road watched as Stewart smashed all of the glass on a BMW parked outside. The car belonged to Blair Anderson, a Progressive employee.

Several workers watched as Stewart walked around the vehicle, smashing windows, lights and the sunroof.

"His last blow left the sledgehammer lodged in the windshield," said Crown counsel Carol Hawes, recounting circumstances to the court. "Mr. Stewart then walked away down Chilcotin Road."

En route, Stewart greeted an acquaintance and admitted his deed, the court heard, saying his wife had been unfaithful with the owner of the vehicle. Police were summoned and Stewart was later arrested at his residence.

"I don't know what I was thinking at the time," he told the court.

Defence counsel Ron Caron said his client is currently living on employment insurance. He is separated from his wife and has three children to support.

Originally from Vanderhoof, Stewart was convicted of mischief there in 1999, Hawes noted.

Judge Stella Frame accepted a Crown recommendation of a 60-day conditional sentence to be served in the community, plus nine months of probation with strict conditions attached. Those include an overnight curfew, no alcohol and no contact with Blair.

Stewart was also ordered to pay restitution to Blair to compensate him for a $300 deductible payment and to ICBC for the remainder of the damages, $16,600. He was given nine months to pay.

Frame said the sentence would give Stewart a chance to work on his rehabilitation, including an anger management course, "and to bring home to you that letting your temper go will not work in your favour."

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